New Empire plans ambitious condo in quiet Woodside

Bentley Zhao’s firm acquired Queens site for $16.2M

Bentley Zhao and 58-01 Queens Boulevard (New Empire Real Estate, Google Maps, iStock)
Bentley Zhao and 58-01 Queens Boulevard (New Empire Real Estate, Google Maps, iStock)

New Empire Real Estate acquired a site in Woodside where it plans to build a 120-unit condominium, a rarity for the quiet Queens neighborhood.

The New York-based development firm, led by Bentley Zhao, paid $16.2 million for a 19,000-square-foot corner lot at 58-01 Queens Boulevard occupied by Walgreens. New Empire is planning to build a mix of one-, and two-bedroom units with an average price of around $750,000, according to Zhao. Construction is expected to start next year.

The new building’s amenities are to include a fitness center, personal storage and parking, a children’s playroom and indoor and outdoor residents’ lounges.

Zhao said the condo will target local buyers and renters in the area looking for an upsize. The 12-story tower will also offer unobstructed views of Manhattan, as many of the surrounding buildings are low-rise, according to Zhao.

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Woodside is sandwiched between Sunnyside and Jackson Heights. It is not known for fancy residential developments, but New Empire is betting that as Long Island City and Astoria become more expensive, buyers will look deeper into Queens.

New Empire has been active this year. The company recently acquired a 9,000-square-foot development site at 24-01 Queens Plaza North. It also recently filed plans to build a 12-story, 59-unit condo in Manhattan’s Kips Bay.

The firm has had previous success in Queens. Its seven-story, 77-unit condo tower, The Neighborly in Long Island City, sold out within 10 months during the pandemic.